Brookfield Zoo’s holiday celebration under way

Catherine Leyden, cleyden@mysuburbanlife.com

Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic celebration kicked off in early December and cold, snowy weather wasn’t enough to keep more than 1,000 visitors from taking in the festivities.

During the weekends throughout December, the zoo will commemorate the 26th annual holiday celebration with many planned activities.

Ken Grzeslo, the zoo’s public events coordinator, said this year the ongoing festival brings back traditional favorites and adds a few new activities.

The display can be found at Roosevelt Fountain and includes 600 lights strung throughout 50 trees and a 20-foot peacock in the center of the fountain. Grzeslo said the lights are coordinated to music that plays throughout the zoo grounds.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday  and Sunday the author of “The Making of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Rick Goldschmidt, will be at the zoo’s Holly Jolly Theater to talk about his book based on the 1964 movie, which will be shown at 7 p.m.

Grzeslo said Goldschmidt will bring the original Santa and Rudolph puppets used in the movie.

“It’s a jam-packed Rudolph weekend here at the zoo,” Grzeslo said.

Visitors will be able to take part in Holiday Magic traditions, such as singing to the animals and watching professional carvers shape 400-pound blocks of ice into art.

Grzeslo’s advice for those wishing to brave the zoo’s outdoor scenery through December is “dress for the weather.”

Zoo spokeswoman Sondra Katzen said about 1,500 people attended Holiday Magic’s opening weekend.